The head of a startup which created a solar-powered hive-monitoring system has said there is a “sense of urgency” in ensuring the existence of bees.
Saar Safra is one of the co-founders and current CEO of Israeli high-tech firm Beewise Technologies.
Established in 2018, the company – which has made it onto Wired magazine‘s Hottest Startups in Tel Aviv list – uses artificial intelligence and advanced robotics to rescue honeybees which play a great role in providing food for mankind.
Mr Safra told Fortune magazine: “There is a sense of urgency. When we think about global warming and climate change, our tendency is to think about carbon in the air, rising sea levels, desertification and so on.
“But these things will really harm the planet in 50 to 100 years. Bees, collapsing at a 40 per cent rate year over year, will disappear from our planet in 20 to 25 years. This is the key reason we took on this mission.”
Beewise Technologies has raised more than USD 100 million from global investors including an assets management company from the United Arab Emirates.
The enterprise’s creation – the ‘BeeHome’ – is a solar-powered container that offers space for up to 24 honeybee colonies. Artificial intelligence ensures the automatic detection of parasites as well as efficient climate and humidity control.
Mr Safra told the Times of Israel: “The Beehome dispenses food, water and medicine if there is a disease or pest. It knows if it’s too hot or cold. The robot can treat all of this.”
According to its inventors, the BeeHome can reduce bee mortality by 80 per cent whereas the manual labour as required in traditional beekeeping is slashed by an astonishing 90 per cent.
Mr Safra underlined: “Seventy-five per cent of all the fruit and vegetables on the planet are pollinated by bees.
“They pollinate everything: lettuce, apples, avocados, tomatoes, cucumbers, almonds, cotton and coffee. We literally live on the stuff they pollinate. On the other hand, 40 per cent of bee colonies collapse every year.”
The Beewise Technologies CEO told Fortune magazine that his firm planned to introduce a compact BeeHome edition next year.
Speaking about the aim of his team, Mr Safra pointed out that “we won’t eat any more avocados or tomatoes if we don’t have bees.”
The startup co-founder said: “We are in a rush. Our company is in a rush. We have raised USD 120 million in less than three years because if we don’t rush, this will all go to waste.”